the Bloom Report
Worldwide Toy Industry's #1 News Summary
Below is May 7 - 14, 2021. Click Here for Last Week
Articles are posted daily with the most recent at top of each section. The previous week drops off each Friday when we email you highlights.
Not only does the Bloom Report give you all the news you need to know... we give you all the news you didn't know you needed to know!" -Phil Bloom
Welcome to your briefing of the week's news...
Thinking about making a move to a more challenging role? There are many options for you in the new POP Classifieds! And, more being added every week!
This week we are sharing the POP Week panel on The Importance of Films on the Toy Industry & Why Innovation Is So Important with moderator Karri Bean (Senior Licensing Manager, Lego, Disney Consumer Products) with panelists: Rob Johnson (Senior Category Manager - Toys NBCUniversal Media), Chelsea Condon (Brand Manager, US Marketing, LEGO Systems, Inc.), Wolf Steingraeber (Senior Licensing Manager LEGO and Video Games, Disney EMEA), Mason Fiske (Toy and Game Jedi Master, Lucasfilm).
Thank you for reading the Bloom Report!
Dear Tim... “In Toys, What Drives a Team to Be Successful?” tBR Columnist Tim Kilpin Comments
Tim the "Desk Driver"
Mick and Keith. Elton and Bernie. George and Ira (okay, just checking to see how old you all might be). Words and music. You get the idea.
Design and Marketing.
I’m not necessarily suggesting that, to make a cross-functional toy team work, you need great collaboration between the Design and Marketing leaders, composing and performing in alignment. Wait a minute. Yes, that’s exactly what I am suggesting.
Years of experience, both good and bad, have taught me that ensuring the team’s Design and Marketing leaders are aligned is the secret to success. Ideally, these two roles should be seen as ‘equal’ in the organization – at least in the eyes of the team members. This relationship works best when the two are seen as partners, not superior/subordinate.
Back at the old company, and many years ago, I took over the Marketing reins on a large, important vehicles brand. (Think, you know, fiery.) My Design counterpart was an incredibly talented, longtime toy veteran – with a reputation for driving his ideas, and his team, hard. We eyed each other warily in the early going, and then had a breakthrough: on a critical product call in front of the entire team, Read More...
Playtime Sales & Marketing Co., tBR Company of the Week
Playtime Sales & Marketing Co. LLC
A Toy Manufacturers Sales Representative
331 Piermont Road Norwood, NJ 07648
TEL: 201-784-7727 FAX: 201-784-1912
Playtime Sales & Marketing Co. LLC is a Toy and Electronics Manufacturers sales representative organization. Our prime focus is to represent Toy and Electronic Manufacturers to the Retailers.
The principal’s of our Company are Len Soyka and Murray Bass. Our only vocation has been in the Toy Industry and each of us has been independently successful as toy sales people. Due to the changing climate of the Toy Industry and business conditions in general, it made sense for us to join forces. During January of 2003, we formed the Playtime Sales & Marketing Co.
The services that we provide include:
Detailed product and program knowledge
Timely presentation to the retail Buyers.
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Attendance at Sales meetings and Shows
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Our geographical areas of sales coverage include... Read More....
Financial & Legal News . . .
Suspicions over fake reviews prompt Amazon to ban Chinese sellers Numerous brands face long term bans under suspicion of incentivizing fake reviews by offering free products or discounts. These brands are usually sold by multiple sellers connected to the parent company, all of which have been suspended by Amazon across its international marketplaces.
WarnerMedia & Discovery to merge in US$43-billion deal Discovery CEO David Zaslav will lead the standalone company, which plans to continue operating SVODs discovery+ and HBO Max separately. Under the agreement terms, AT&T will receive US$43 billion and control a 71% share in the new company, with Discovery owning the remaining 29%.
Threat of global inflation grows as prices increase in Chinese factories The price of raw materials and goods leaving Chinese factories rose 6.8% in April, its fastest pace in more than three years. For practically the whole of 2020, China’s producer price index (PPI) was in negative territory, as Covid suppressed global demand.
(the above posted after May 14th)
ZURU & MGA Entertainment have reached an agreement to end litigation involving ZURU’s 5 Surprise toy line & MGA’s L.O.L., Surprise! products. On May 6, ZURU received notice from the court that it had dismissed MGA’s lawsuit filed in 2019 against ZURU in California state court, which alleged that ZURU’s 5 Surprise product infringed the trade dress of MGA’s L.O.L. Surprise! In that proceeding, MGA sought a ...
Barnes & Noble parent acquiring Paper Source out of bankruptcy. Elliott Investment Management L.P., which owns Barnes & Noble and British bookseller Waterstones, will acquire the assets and business operations of stationery and gift retailer Paper Source out of bankruptcy, the company announced. James Daunt, CEO of Barnes & Noble and Waterstones, will run Paper Source along with the two booksellers.
Gaming Loot Boxes - innovative and creative multi-billion euro industry but what are the legal risks & are they gambling? Microtransactions and loot boxes have become more and more popular as a business model in the game industry. The growth has been staggering. While a decade ago, only 4% of desktop games on Steam had a loot box mechanism, nowadays a majority of the mobile games...
Kids’ audio platform Yoto raises $17m funding to facilitate growth across Europe and North America. The kids’ audio platform, Yoto – the London-based team behind the award-winning Yoto Player – has raised $17 million in a Series A funding to help facilitate its rapid growth across Europe and North America. The investment was led by Acton Capital with participation from JamJar Investments, Global Founders Capital...
UK class action lawsuit targets Apple's "anti-competitive practices". A class action lawsuit against Apple was filed in the UK on behalf of a potential 19.6 million iOS users yesterday. The lawsuit condemned Apple's alleged anti-competitive behaviour and seeks compensation for customers who have allegedly been overcharged for years due to Apple's 30% cut on purchases made on its App Store, which is ...
Supercell ordered to pay $92.2 million in damages over free-to-play patent infringements. Clash of Clans developer Supercell has been ordered to pay $92.2 million in damages to Japanese media company Gree, Inc. in a high-profile patent trial. As reported by Bloomberg, Supercell was found to have infringed on six patents relating to features used in online free-to-play games.
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Trends, Market Research Reports . . .
(the above posted after May 14th)
International shipping delays expected to last into 2022 . . . . . Hello dolly - Toy World examines the Dolls category . . . . . Reunited and it feels so good - Toy World speaks to UK retailers . . . . . April 2021 NPD BookScan - Top 20 Author, Manga, Superhero Graphic Novels . . . . . Supplier Support - how suppliers are backing up retailers
Financial & Brokerage News . . .
Electronic Arts Buys Glu Mobile for $2.1 Billion . . . . . TARGET CRUSHES EARNINGS ESTIMATES AS TOY SALES SPIKE 40% IN Q1 . . . . . SUMR Brands Reports Q1 2021 Financial Results . . . . . France $4.78 Billion Toys Markets to 2026 with Mattel, Hasbro, LEGO Group, Ravensburger, Spin Master Corp &. Vtech Dominating . . . . ELECTRONIC LEARNING TOYS GIVE VTECH AN EARNINGS BOOST
(the above posted after May 14th)
Disney's direct-to-consumer revenue is up by 59% . . . . . Funko reports first quarter 2021 sales of $189 million, up 38%; raises full year outlook . . . . .Roblox reports first quarter 2021 financial results . . . . Capcom attributes record profits to 'continued success' of game division . . . . Mobile drives Konami full-year revenues to $2.48bn . . . . . Playtika revenues jump 20%.. . . . . Digital software and catalog titles are driving sales at Square Enix . . . . Alibaba posts first operating loss as a public company following $2.8 billion antitrust fine . . . . . Mattel – consensus indicates potential 15.8% upside . . . . . Yoto secures £17m to fuel European and North American growth . . . . . The Last Gameboard Closes $4 Million Seed Financing led by TheVentureCity with Participation from SOSV and Riot Games . . . . Hasbro to Participate in the J.P. Morgan 49th Annual Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference . . . . . Bandai Namco revenues reach $6.8bn in pandemic year . . . . . Embracer Group buys four more game studios for a combined $8.5 million . . . . . WildBrain Reports Q3 2021 Financial Results . . . . . Roblox's first quarterly report sees bookings, losses soar . . . . . Ubisoft posts record sales yet again, delays Skull & Bones yet again . . . . . EA leans on Apex Legends and live services in fourth quarter . . . . . Unity reports strong Q1 2021, but losses widen
Future Financial Reporting . . .
Roblox's real-life toy deal could be huge for Hasbro. Fresh off of its public stock listing, video game and metaverse platform Roblox (NYSE:RBLX) is now embracing the real world. It inked a partnership with toymaker Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS), which will make Roblox-game-inspired NERF blasters, a Monopoly board game, and a NERF experience within the Roblox game platform later in 2021. But for Hasbro, this could be a new growth opportunity, and a chance to win over some new young fans of its own.
Stories & Comments . . .
To get kids to care about diversity, make it familiar. Children universally seek out that which is familiar. And prodcos looking to make inclusion resonate with them need to bridge the gap, writes David Kleeman. The past year has brought extensive and much-needed attention to diversity in children’s media content. Kidscreen Summit, COVID Zoominars and virtual festivals focused on the need and right for all children...
Batavia man’s modified Ford Falcon may be made into Hot Wheels car. Ryan Upham, 37, admits he has yet to grow up when it comes to toys, but that just might wind up making him famous. A self-proclaimed Hot Wheels fan, Upham is excited about being involved in the Virtual Hot Wheels Legends Tour, an international contest presented by Mobil 1 where the winning car is immortalized into a Hot Wheels die-cast toy...
UK Kids want in-person shopping, learning New research from Childwise collected for its latest “Buzz Bulletin—Kids in Lockdown” report, kids are eager for a complete or partial return to normal, with one-third (36%) saying they’d choose to learn completely in person at school, if given the option. (35%) of kids want a mix of at-home and in-school learning, while only 20% want to continue with full-time remote learning.
Opinion | Making augmented a reality: How AR is empowering future generations of play. With brands like Pokémon and LEGO paving the way for toy manufacturers (big and small) to bring augmented reality into their products, and as the technology continues to blend hands-on play with endless digital universes, it’s small wonder why the AR toy trend has caught the imagination of so many.
(the above posted after May 14th)
John Baulch, ToyWorld UK : Tldr…. it’s the Friday Blog! First up, one of the worst-kept ‘secrets’ in the industry is finally out…Just Play will be setting up its own subsidiary in the UK from January 1st, bringing to an end its five-year partnership with Flair. Just Play has been busy building a team of high-powered industry figures over the past year, so it has always been a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ the move was on the cards.
The newest fidget craze is popping toys. Adults and kids all over the world have been buying up this endlessly reusable version of a longtime favorite fidget activity: popping Bubble Wrap. Made of silicone and coming in a range of colors, shapes, and sizes, they are half-sphere “bubbles” that can be pushed in, making a satisfying soft popping sound. After “popping” them all, you can turn the toy over and start again from the...
Target pulls Pokémon and other trading cards after grown men have parking lot fight over them. Target has told grown adult men that, if they can’t play nicely with their toys, they’ll get taken away. According to The Guardian, the retailer has announced a ban on in-store sales of Pokémon and other trading cards after five men had a fight over them in a Target parking lot in Wisconsin.
Old toys and baseball cards soaring in value. Do you have any old toys or dolls in your basement or closets that you haven’t checked in years? You may want to dust them off, because the toys of our youth are becoming super collectibles during this COVID pandemic. Margie Schultz, with the Beautiful Doll Club, said she and fellow doll lovers can’t believe what they’ve been seeing since the pandemic forced people to stay home.
Remembering the Toy Industry's Past . . .
A century of all-American toy advertising in pictures. It was in the wake of the 20th-century consumer boom that playtime entered its heyday. Up until then, children’s toys were the source of little attention, and the market was dominated by European manufacturers, with Germany, in particular, funnelling toys into America. As society surfaced from the First World War, change was in the air, bolstered by American ingenuity,...
Pollock’s Toy Museum to reopen after ‘overwhelming response’ to fund raising campaign. Pollock’s Toy Museum in Fitzrovia has detailed its plans to reopen this month following the ‘roaring success’ of a Save Pollock’s Toy Museum crowdfunding campaign that ran online earlier this year. A rally of support from across the general public, as well as a number of toy community individuals, saw the campaign raise a mighty...
Worldwide Licensing News . . .
LEGO, Hasbro Unleash Powerful Infinity Saga Gauntlet Collectibles. This month, Marvel and its licensing partners have released a variety of merch celebrating The Infinity Saga — the 23 Marvel Studios movies that make up Phases 1-3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). LEGO and Hasbro have unleashed new gauntlet-inspired collectibles that are must-haves for any MCU fan
JAKKS & Disguise Named Partners for CoComelon. Disguise will design and manufacture costumes based on the children’s show, which currently streams on Netflix, Roku, and Hulu. JAKKS will also design, manufacture, market, and sell CoComelon seasonal toy product lines. These lines will be available in the U.S. and Canada at retailers in-store and online in 2022. CoComelon, the most-viewed YouTube channel in the U.S....
Moose Toys Releases Full Space Jam Line. Moose Toys, in collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, has released its full line of toys based on Space Jam: A New Legacy — including new Goon Squad toys, which are now available in stores and online nationwide alongside LeBron James and the Tune Squad toys.
ToyMonster Jurassic World Captivz Debut in the U.S. Following the global pilot program launched in Australia, the ToyMonster Jurassic World Captivz range will launch in U.S. retail stores starting in June. The collectible Pop N’Lock toys, which combine slime, battle play, and species design, are inspired by the animated series, Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous from Universal Pictures, DreamWorks Animation, and Amblin...
(the above posted after May 14th)
Dude Perfect & PlayMonster Partner for Koosh Launch. To kick off the release of Koosh that’s slated for this summer, PlayMonster has partnered with YouTubers Dude Perfect for a branded content campaign celebrating the toy line’s retail launch in July. Known for their stunts, trick shots, and challenges the Dude Perfect team — Tyler Toney, Cody Jones, Garrett Hilbert, and twins Coby and Cory Cotton — plan to bring ....
Lego unveils new Disney Mickey and Friends range for pre-schoolers The sets offer a variety of themes to enjoy, plus easy-to-read instructions and Starter Brick elements to kickstart each build.
Pokémon - truly legendary Pokémon licensing director Mathieu Galante told Toy World what there is to look forward to in the months ahead for fans and retailers alike. It’s a major year for Pokémon, with the franchise celebrating its 25th anniversary as retailers report record sales of its trading card games and consumer products.
The One Where LEGO Releases Another Friends Set. If you bought the 2019 LEGO Central Perk set faster than Joey can chug a gallon of milk, then we have news for you. LEGO revealed a second set inspired by the iconic ’90s sitcom, and it is, as Chandler would say, “perfection.” The new set includes a whopping 2,048 pieces that fans can use to build not just one, but both of the main apartments featured on the show ...
The Point.1888 tapped as licensing agent for ‘The Raccoons’ relaunch. Another animated family from the 1980s is back: The Raccoons. The Canadian series that aired on the Disney Channel in the U.S. is being reimagined for a new generation by series creator Kevin Gillis with sights set on a full licensing program to go with it. In the UK, The Point.1888 has been tapped to serve as the exclusive brand licensing agent for ...
Kidz Bop inks licensing deals with Move2Play and Yoto. As part of its 20th birthday celebration, music brand Kidz Bop has partnered with toy company Move2Play and screen-free audio platform Yoto to create new Kidz Bop music products. Kidz Bop and Move2Play have developed new Kidz Bop Karaoke Microphones, allowing fans to sing like a Kidz Bop Kid. With the interactive Bluetooth microphones, fans can sing along...
Character unveils multi-licence Mash’ems TV campaign. One of Character Options’ core brands, Mash’ems has been a mainstay of retailers’ collectibles aisle for more than a decade, and, in a demonstration of its commitment to both the brand and to its retail partners, Character Options has kicked off May with a multi-media marketing drive to take the brand to another level. Having celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2020,
Disguise to launch Bluey costumes at Walmart this Fall. Disguise, Inc., the Halloween costume division of JAKKS Pacific, Inc., announced U.S. rights for the children’s animated television program Bluey, produced by Ludo Studio. Disguise is set to design, market, manufacture, and distribute costumes and costume accessories for the property commencing in 2021. The new line will debut as a first-to-market launch...
TOMY to develop toy line for preschool series Buddi. TOMY has signed a deal with Unanico and Raydar Media to bring to life characters from the Netflix Originals program Buddi with a new toy line. Aimed at fans under 4, Buddi follows five colorful friends who teach children about emotional intelligence through the lens of imagination, with non-verbal cues. Two seasons are currently available on Netflix, with more...
People . . .
Since 2006, when Inka and Markus's first game was published by Kosmos, their career as game inventors has seen meteoric success. Through playing together, and then also with the help of their children Lukas and Emely, ideas arose that were developed, made tangible, pitched, tested, professionally produced and successfully brought to the market. It is difficult to look past the sheer number of German games prizes...
“Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton welcomes Martin and Alysha Horstman, the creators of the Pixicade Mobile Game Maker, an innovative new platform that kids can use to transform their drawings into playable mobile games. On the show, Albritton chats with the husband and wife duo about how Martin’s tech skills and Alysha’s background in art came together in developing Pixicade.
Liza Abrams Joins Brand Central Brand Central LLC, a global licensing consultancy headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices in Kentucky and New Jersey, announced the hiring of Liza Abrams to the newly created position of Senior Vice President of Manufacturer Representation and Brand Central Insights trend service. Abrams will be based in New Jersey and will report directly to Brand Central CEO, Ross Misher.
(the above posted after May 14th)
“Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Monsterfoot Productions’ Ahmet Zappa to the show. Zappa is a multihyphenate whose work spans publishing, TV and film, music, and more. He produced Disney’s The Odd Life of Timothy Green and created the Star Darlings property, and now he’s gearing up to develop projects based on the Weird-Ohs monster hot rod model kits of the 1960s.
Ravensburger appoints Kirsty Barr for consumer PR across its portfolio of brands. Ravensburger has appointed the industry PR specialist, Kirsty Barr to its UK marketing team, a role in which she will handle all consumer PR across the company’s portfolio of brands, including Ravensburger, blue triangle, BRIO, and ThinkFun Brain and Logic Games. Barr is a well connected and well liked PR expert within the world...
Jerry Bennington joins CMON as Head of Licensing. Jerry Bennington, who recently left his position as President of IDW Publishing (see "New President at IDW Publishing"), has joined CMON Limited as Head of Licensing, he confirmed to ICv2. Bennington has also formed consultancy Red Owl, Inc., and will also work with other clients. In his new role as CMON Head of Licensing,
ZAG expands consumer products team with Disney, Viacom vets. ZAG is continuing to expand its executive ranks as it moves toward the fall release of Ghostforce and the Miraculous — Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir movie. The company appointed Hyde Schram to serve as its first vice president of global promotions with Betsabe Luna named retail and licensing director, Mexico and Central America.
Industrial Design Student Wins Grant for Setting Up 3D Printing Filament Recycling System. Ryan Colwick hopes to spread Protocycling beyond the ID department. Life experience makes for a good industrial designer, and Ryan Colwick has plenty. On the academic side, he's got degree in both Architecture and Graphic Design and is now zeroing in on his Masters of Industrial Design at the Design School at Arizona State...
Yogi Parmar promoted to managing director of Toymaster The buying group says Yogi’s promotion recognizes his dedication, management skills and expertise in all things Toymaster. A statement from Toymaster chairman Chris Blatcher reads: “I am pleased to announce that Yogi Parmar, who is currently joint interim managing director of Toymaster Ltd, has been promoted to the permanent role of managing director.
Companies, Brands . . .
Sphero’s cute car-shaped robot is driven to teach kids about programming. It includes puzzles that require logically giving computers instructions. It’s called the Sphero indi, and kids can use different-colored silicone tiles to give the car instructions, letting them create courses and mazes (and hopefully learn how to logically solve problems while doing so).
Rollplay announces launch of hero line Pedal Drifter The Pedal Drifter has already been nominated for a prestigious Top 10 Spielzeug (Top 10 Toys) award in Germany. Available from September, the new pedal vehicle is suitable for for kids from two years of age and comes in a stylish airplane design.
Get a First Look at Masters of the Universe: Revelation as Mattel Unveils the Masterverse. A new era of Mattel’s fantasy franchise arrives this summer with the July 23 premiere of Masters of the Universe: Revelation on Netflix. This week, Mattel released the first stills from the new animated series along with a look at Masterverse, a line of 7-inch scale, super-articulated action figures.
MGA Entertainment Celebrates 20 Years of Bratz with Doll Relaunch. They shook up the fashion doll aisle in 2001, and now the Bratz are back. MGA Entertainment is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Bratz brand with a yearlong run of activations, kicking off on May 21 with the return of the original Core 4 characters: Cloe, Sasha, Jade, and Yasmin.
Madame Alexander Launches New Dolls for 2021 The new Peekaboos line (for ages newborn and up) is available on Amazon, with each doll dressed in a hooded outfit to encourage young ones to play peek-a-boo with their new doll. The plush dolls are available in three different animal-themed outfits — Llama, Uni-Cat, or Sloth. Additionally, the My First line and Huggums line this year are debuting baby dolls in new skin...
Sport Bigs Debuts Toys Dedicated to Women's Sports New toy company Sport Bigs is celebrating female athletes by launching a line of talking toys dedicated to women’s sports. The line includes 18-inch plush celebrating only women’s sports and inspired by famous athletes.
Sport Bigs will direct portions of proceeds from the toys into women’s sport sponsorships, athlete compensation, and additional grassroots...
MEET THE BRAND-NEW CARE BEAR: TOGETHERNESS BEAR. For the first time in at least a decade, the Care Bears, an iconic brand with millions of fans spanning generations, will introduce Togetherness Bear, a brand-new Bear to join the group. The newest Care Bear friend focuses on togetherness, acceptance, inclusivity, and loving what is unique about you, messages that are so important for kids growing up.
Bossing It | Basic Fun’s Tim Ives: ‘The toy industry is headed in an exciting direction’. This quarter, ToyNews is catching up with Tim Ives, the new general manager for the UK and ROI at Basic Fun to learn what the role means to him, his ‘best of’ career highlights, and the serendipitous nature of launching Lincoln Logs to the UK
Mattel Unveils Helen Keller Doll — the Newest Addition to Barbie's Inspiring Women Series. A doll inspired by Helen Keller will hit shelves at retailers nationwide and on Barbie.com on Tuesday. Keller, who notably did not let being both deaf and blind keep her from learning to communicate, will be the latest historical figure to have her likeness immortalized, Mattel announced on Tuesday.
Hasbro Named to 100 Best Corporate Citizens List for 10th Consecutive Year 3BL Media has named Hasbro to its annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens ranking, recognizing outstanding environmental, social and governance (ESG) transparency and performance among the 1,000 largest, U.S. public companies. The 100 Best Corporate Citizens ranking is based on 141 ESG transparency and performance factors in eight pillars:...
CAMP LAUNCHES E-COMMERCE PLATFORM FOR KIDS TO SHOP FOR GIFTS. Retail is evolving, and Camp is charging forward with a new platform that allows kids to shop safely online with a preset budget controlled by a parent or guardian. The Camp Present Shop is being billed as “the first e-commerce platform where kids can safely shop online.” It’s designed for kids ages 3-12 and serves as a safe space to pick out and...
HASBRO, PARAMOUNT RELEASE FIRST TRAILER FOR ‘SNAKE EYES: G.I. JOE ORIGINS’ The hype for Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins began at Toy Fair New York last year, and following a pandemic-related detour from its original theatrical launch last October, the big-screen reboot of Hasbro‘s popular military franchise is back on track for a July 23 debut.
Pocket.watch's Love, Diana - heading across the globe The Love, Diana brand has enjoyed an incredible 6 months since its launch in Oct 2020; Pocket.watch's Danny Spronz tells us more. Danny Spronz, managing director, EMEA, Pocket.watch, tells Toy World what the standout new girls’ property Love, Diana offers licensees and retailers, its plans to develop and expand the franchise, and why YouTube is reaching more kids...
Zapf Creation - moving with the times As Baby born marks its 30th anniversary, Rachael Simpson-Jones spoke to Kasia Leskow, Zapf Creation marketing manager, about why the brand has stood the test of time. The company has entered 2021 on strong footing, seeing YOY growth despite the numerous challenges in the marketplace. 2020 saw Zapf’s sales increase,
(the above posted after May 14th)
Katy Perry releases new single featuring Pikachu as part of ongoing Pokémon 25th celebrations Pokémon’s 25th anniversary celebration continue with as the recording artist, Katy Perry releases her new single and video, Electric, starring non other than the franchise’s best-loved character, Pikachu. Perry created the track especially for Pokémon 25: The Album, which will be released this autumn by Universal Music...
Hasbro, Inc. is hosting their inaugural Monopoly Charity Classic Event this May, featuring Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip), Josh Gad (Frozen), Ellie Kemper (The Office), and Daymond John (Shark Tank). Participating celebrities will battle it out virtually for the $350,000 Community Chest in celebration of Monopoly updating all 16 of its Community Chest Cards. Fans can tune into the game live on Hasbro and Hasbro Gaming’s...
Story Time Chess won a Gold Stevie Award in the Game-based Curriculum Solutions category for the 19th Annual American Business Awards. Nicknamed the Stevies — from the Greek word for “crowned” — the American Business Awards allow organizations of all sizes in the U.S. to submit nominations, including public, private, for-profit, and nonprofit. Awards will be virtually presented to winners during a live event...
PBS KIDS selects creators for podcast accelerator. EXCLUSIVE: Career growth and play are at the heart of its podcast pilots from indies, PBS North Carolina and The Brooklyn Library. Six teams of podcast creators have been chosen to participate in a pilot accelerator program run by PBS KIDS, PRX and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). They’ll each produce a pilot episode for their concept that may end up on PBS...
The Entertainer extends its Quiet Hour shopping initiative to run every day across all 171 stores The family-owned high street toy retailer, The Entertainer, has extended its Quiet Hour initiative to run every day in every one of its 171 stores across the country, in a bid to create a calmer shopping environment for autistic people and shoppers uncomfortable with the hustle and bustle of the shopping experience.
Board games veterans launch All About Games consultancy The founders say All About Games is a unique consulting company created to serve the board games industry. Three Asmodee veterans have opened a new and unique consulting company for the board games/tabletop industry: All About Games. The founders, Carol Rapp, Cedric Delobelle and Daniel Steel, share between them more than 60 years of passion,...
Just Play Products LLC announces opening of UK subsidiary Jan 2022 Just Play has already established new subsidiaries in Australia and New Zealand, and says the UK entity will further bolster its global expansion. The company has grown consistently for over 11 yrs and now ranks as one of the leading companies in NA. Just Play benefits from global business hubs in Florida, Pennsylvania, California, Hong Kong and China...
Netflix to launch first L.O.L. Surprise movie. EXCLUSIVE: The brand is unboxing its first feature film in October, and it will support a major new toy push, says MGA's Anne Parducci. L.O.L. Surprise: The Movie (working title) is a 45-minute mixed-media adventure that stars a young girl who finds herself in the popular dolls’ CG-animated world, where she must help them create a movie.
TOMY enters a licensing agreement with Unanico & Raydar Media to produce toys inspired by the Netflix Original Series, Buddi. The series geared toward kids under 4 launched last year and seeks to build “emotional intelligence through the lens of imagination with non-verbal cues, sowing early seeds of creativity.” Buddi follows five bright and colorful friends that exude joy as they...
Mattel Games‘ latest UNO deck is dedicated to celebrating inclusivity and the LGBTQ+ community. UNO teamed up with the It Gets Better Project (IGB) — a nonprofit dedicated to uplifting, empowering, and connecting to the LGBTQ+ community globally — for UNO Play with Pride. The colorful, 112-card deck is available exclusively at Target beginning this month.
LEGO and The LEGO Foundation make $1million donation to Save the Children India The LEGO Group and the LEGO Foundation are making a $1 million donation to help Save the Children India support families and children most at risk in Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and West Bengal from the most recent outbreak of Covid-19. The money will be used to deliver learning to around 20,000 children aged three to …
New Monopoly Lifesized experience encourages players to get on board An immersive game, to open in London this August, will see players moving around a 4D full-sized board and taking on challenges as they go. Hasbro has teamed up with Gamepath (a new division of international theatre producer Selladoor Worldwide) to bring together the board game, escape rooms and team challenge.
First The Entertainer-branded store to open in Spain Based in Valencia, the store was part of the Poly Group’s store estate and has been refurbished and rebranded to look like a typical The Entertainer store in the UK. Two and a half years ago, The Entertainer acquired Spanish toy retail chain Poly Group, giving the retailer a firm foothold in the Spanish market. However, this latest move takes The Entertainer’....
Playmobil unveils two new Back to the Future sets A Hoverboard Chase set and Marty’s Pick-Up Truck have joined master toy partner Playmobil's exclusive Back to the Future collection. The first Playmobil DeLorean Time Machine was launched in 2020, when the iconic time-travelling car from Back to the Future in a miniature format generated a great deal of hype.
Goliath’s The Floor is Lava game sees sales heat up Vivid Goliath says The Floor is Lava is fast becoming a hot property in the toy industry, with a huge growth in sales this year and popular celebrities getting in on the action. The popular children’s playground activity, which sees kids attempt to avoid touching the floor at all costs by leaping from one object to another, launched as a game for autumn/winter last year and...
Mattel Gives Barbie And Other Toys A Green Makeover With New Recycling Program. Mattel is giving parents a way to keep past-their-prime Barbies, castoff Matchbox cars, and unwanted Mega construction bricks out of landfills with a toy takeback program announced today.
The program, Mattel PlayBack, promises to give unloved old toys a second life by recycling their plastic parts into new products.
Lemada licenses Accentuate's Rats to Riches for Israeli market Accentuate and Lemada have worked together on localized content to ensure relevance of the Hebrew version of Rats to Riches in Israel. Lemada has already secured listings with Israel’s largest on-line shop K.S.P., as well as with a variety of independent game stores in the Israel.
All dolled up – Mattel on the Dolls category. Kelly Philp tells Toy World what Mattel considers to the biggest opportunities in the Dolls category, and talks new additions and expansions. Mattel is expanding its presence in the Dolls category for 2021, with the July launch of new fantasy-themed large doll, My Garden Baby, additions to its licensed doll ranges including Spirit and Harry Potter, and expansions to Polly Pocket...
Nintendo Switch production 'more uncertain' due to semiconductor shortage. Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa has warned that Switch production may be affected by the ongoing semiconductor shortage. Speaking during a recent financial Q&A, Furukawa explained that while demand for Switch hardware continues to exceed Nintendo's expectations, production is still playing catch-up due to "tight supply...
Kappa Toys launches glow-in-the-dark experiential toy store at Area15 in Las Vegas. What just might be the world’s first toy store dedicated to glow-in-the-dark and light-up toys is opening in Las Vegas this week. Kappa Toys is expanding its footprint as Las Vegas’ destination toy store with a new location, this time in Area15, an entertainment, retail, and experience complex located minutes from the Vegas strip.
Mattel reveals Masters of the Universe: Revelation action figures. Netflix has released the first official images from the upcoming animated series Masters of the Universe: Revelation! In addition to the first photos from the show however, Mattel has released the first official photos from the Masterverse action figure line which will enable fans to bring these iconic characters to life at home.
Asmodee USA and Z-Man unveil 'Pandemic: Hot Zone - Europe'. Asmodee USA and Z-Man unveiled Pandemic: Hot Zone - Europe, the second game in the Hot Zone series, for release on July 9. In Hot Zone- Europe, players are tasked with halting the spread of disease across the European continent. The players must work as team to discover the cures for three diseases before they infect all of Europe.
'Munchkin' explores Russian myths and monsters. Steve Jackson Games will release Munchkin Russia, a new card game based on Munchkin, into retail in September.This new version of Munchkin, developed by Pavel Iliin and Dmitry Moldon, delves into the myths and monsters of Russian folklore. Players can fight monsters like a Troll Factory, KGBirds, Rasputin, or even a Hangover with their Russian Wolfhound and ...
Ultra PRO unveils 'Ascension: 10 Year Anniversary Edition'. Ultra PRO unveiled Ascension: 10 Year Anniversary Edition which is now on preorder at distributors.A decade ago, Magic Pro Tour champs Justin Gary, Rob Dougherty, and Brian Kibler designed a fantasy deckbuilder that would become a hit and spawn multiple expansions. Now, Ultra PRO is celebrating the release of this epic card game by offering the special...
CMON will release 'Bug Hunt' into trade. CMON will release Bug Hunt, a new family board game, into trade on June 4. Bug Hunt is a family-friendly board game where players collect their matching bugs for their collection. They construct a Bug Shrub and randomly add bugs to it. Each turn, they reach into the Bug Shrub's tunnel opening and attempt to grab one that matches their set.
Manage spellcasting with 'Pathfinder Spell Cards: Secrets Of Magic'. Paizo, Inc. will release Pathfinder Spell Cards: Secrets of Magic, a new spell deck for Pathfinder RPG, into retail in October. Pathfinder RPG players can catalogue, sort, and master every last incantation with this new spellcasting accessory. It comes with over 400 spell reference cards that span every magical tradition and focus spell from Secrets of Magic.
The 'Solar Opposites' are headed to Funko! Funko, Inc. will release Pop! Solar Opposites figures into retail in June. Look out, collectors of Earth! Everyone's favorite dysfunctional alien family, from Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan's hit Hulu streaming series, are getting their own Pop! Funko figures. This wave of Pop!s includes Pop! Terry, Pop! Korvo, Pop! Jesse, and Pop! YumYulack. Each figure will retail for $11.00.
TRAPPED Escape Room Games unveils second series of escape room game packs. TRAPPED Escape Room Games, the range of titles designed to turn any room into an escape room, has detailed the arrival of its second series of escape experiences, with three new themed titles, taking places to the zoo, into space, and onboard a plane. Called The Zoo, Mission to Mars, and Flight 927, each new TRAPPED game pack comes with ...
'Styx, Lord of Hounds' unleashes his ferocious followers on 'Godtear'. Steamforged Games announced Styx, Lord of Hounds, a new champion expansion for Godtear, which will release into retail on August 12. Styx allows players to bend the rules of death, and weaken their defenses. He comes with Abyssal Hounds that can be used to circle an enemy banner and destroy it.
Video Games, Gaming Hardware & Game Development News . . .
Meet the new factions in Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground. Three new trailers have been released (see below) for the upcoming turn-based strategy game Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground today providing an overview of the three different factions that players will get to choose from when the game launches on PC and consoles on 27th May.
Resident Evil Village tops 3 million shipments in under a week. Resident Evil Village has shipped over 3 million units worldwide in less than a week, according to deveoper Capcom.mThe latest entry in the horror franchise launched on May 7, 2021, on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One, and PC. Capcom said the continued success of the Resident Evil franchise has cemented its potion as one of its ...
13% of iOS users opt-in to app tracking worldwide. Only 5% of Apple device users in the U.S. choose to allow tracking for advertising purposes. Recently Apple has released iOS 14.5 update and with it, mobile apps now have to ask for permission from users to gather tracking data. Analytics platform Flurry reports that -- depending on the day -- up to 13% of users worldwide have allowed apps to track them for...
Sony facing lawsuit over 'monopoly' on digital PlayStation game sales. A collection of gamers are readying to file a lawsuit against PlayStation-maker Sony Interactive Entertainment, arguing that it operates an unlawful monopoly by limiting where players can purchase digital copies of PlayStation games to only Sony storefronts. According to Bloomberg, the group believes that Sony's monopoly on digital game sales allows ...
Epic vs Apple
Apple questions credibility of Xbox testimony. Apple has called for the courts to investigate last week's testimony by Microsoft, claiming the Xbox firm has not produced the documents to support her claims. In a filing shared by The Verge, Apple's legal counsel requested an "adverse credibility finding regarding the testimony of Lori Wright," the platform holder's vice president for gaming, media and entertainment.
Epic vs Apple - week one review: Epic still faces an "uphill battle". Legal experts share their thoughts on the proceedings so far, and what to expect from the coming week. We're more than a third of a way into the long-awaited Epic vs Apple antitrust trial, but there's still no indication as to where the gavel may fall when the case comes to a close.
Epic v. Apple keeps coming back to the gap between ignorance and inconvenience. Last week, the judge in Epic v. Apple asked whether Epic really had an antitrust case against Apple, or whether it just wanted to help kids make impulse purchases. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers was talking about the importance of where and how people pay for their apps, and today she continued that line of questioning to the point...
Epic Games claims Fortnite is at "full penetration" on console. Epic Games claims Fortnite as big as it's going to get when it comes to the audience on consoles. That's according to the testimony of the company's marketing director Matthew Weissinger, speaking yesterday on the sixth day of the ongoing Epic vs Apple antitrust trial. Weissinger was asked whether there was a platform that represented the biggest ...
Epic v. Apple shows games industry at its most absurd | This Week in Business. Minecraft isn't a game, Sony is tearing friendships apart, Apple taking 30% makes the world a better place, and other dubious claims aired in court. Without lawsuits, we never would have found about Rockstar Games co-founder Sam Houser begging Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies to help fix the troubled development...
Toy Safety & Counterfeit Related Articles . . .
Amazon blocked 10 billion listings last year amid rising concerns over counterfeits. Amazon blocked more than 10 billion bogus listings it suspected to be fraudulent and invested upwards of $700 million to protect its marketplace from fraud and abuse, the company said in its brand protection report published Monday, as the e-commerce leader attempts to ease rising concerns from customers, retailers and...
Fivefold rise in young children swallowing magnets over past 5 years in UK. There's been a fivefold rise in the number of young children requiring treatment after having swallowed a magnet over the past 5 years in the UK, suggests data from specialist doctors in a letter published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. Nearly half of these children required surgery to remove the magnet, with surgical...
Press Releases . . .
Endless Games Flows Its Hottest Game Outside. Get Outside! As temperatures rise this Spring, Endless Games is seeing that its hottest selling game, The Floor Is Lava, is finding its way outdoors for children to pretend that the entire yard is lava! Switching out the living room carpet for a grass covered lawn is proving to be a fun new environment to play. Many people know the impromptu game of shouting out “LAVA” and ...
SHOWING PRESCHOOLERS HOW TO LIVE A GREEN LIFE REAPS NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT FOR ADVENTERRA GAMES. Puzzles & Simple Games To Introduce Environmental Concepts Are Applauded By The National Parenting Center, The Toy Insider™, Hot Diggity & Mom’s Choice – Most 3-year-olds have a mental to-do list of eat, nap, play, potty, then repeat. Saving the planet can now be added thanks to Adventerra Games. With their roll out of simple puzzles and memory games — including Hungry Bins: Learn To Recycle ($19.99) or Saving Water ($14.99) — even preschoolers can comprehend living a green life. In addition to dozens of toy industry honors, these beginner games were authenticated by STEM.org and earned its Early Childhood Product Seal.
(the above posted after the Bloom Report sent on May 14th)
Ty Warner, owner of the largest manufacturer of plush in the world, announced today the sale of Max the dog Beanie Baby. Max was introduced on the YouTube Originals Color the Spectrum Livestream event hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and YouTube star Mark Rober with a long list of celebrity guests on Friday, April 30 netting more than four million views to date.
News from Associations, Trade Shows, Awards & Festivals . . .
(ASTRA, Hong Kong, LIMA, Spielwarenmesse, TA and More)
Spielwarenmesse welcomes news that trade fairs given go ahead in Bavaria Trade fairs may be held once again in Bavaria from September, a decision which will positively impact Spielwarenmesse events in Nuremberg. The ministers have said that such events may take place from 1st September, as long as certain conditions are met.
'Spiel des Jahres' Nominations Revealed A prestigious German game design award, SdJ noms were revealed along with the nominees for the Kennerspiel des Jahres and Kinderspiel des Jahres awards. The Spiel des Jahres ("Game of the Year") nominees are: The Adventures of Robin Hood by Michael Menzel; published by Kosmos, MicroMacro: Crime City by Johannes Sich; published by Edition Spielwiese, Zombie Teenz,,,
CSAs night two: Corner Gas Animated, PAW Patrol, Odd Squad, Bit Playas nab top honours. The Canadian Screen Awards' second evening of prize-giving recognized children's content, animation, digital and immersive.
Posh Paws Product Showcase Events to take place in June In the absence of in-person trade shows so far this year and with social distancing restrictions easing, Posh Paws has announced that it will be hosting six Product Showcase Events across the UK in June, so that customers can physically see its new licensed plush toys and high-quality gifting ranges.
(the above posted after May 14th)
World Video Game Hall of Fame Reveals 2021 Inductees. Animal Crossing, Microsoft Flight Simulator, StarCraft, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? were inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame. The group was among a packed field of finalists that included Call of Duty, FarmVille, FIFA International Soccer, Guitar Hero, Mattel Football, Pole Position, Portal, and Tron
ToyFest West 2022 Dates Announced. ToyFest West, now in its ninth year, will take place February 28-March 2, 2022 at the South Point Hotel, Casino, and Spa in Las Vegas. Registration is current open to attendees for free, and will open to exhibitors in the fall. On the camaraderie of the event, WTHRA Board of Directors member Blake Goldenberg says, “Those of you that have joined us at our annual trade show know exactly...
Behind the scenes at Toymaster As the toy trade is missing the traditional Toymaster May show, Brian McLaughlin tells us why the group's focus on gathering and sharing information with members has never been more important. With retailers in some areas able to reopen at the start of April, Toymaster has been hard at work supporting its members in every way possible, from helping fit out the new Burton Midco ...
The Toy Association and Mojo Nation are teaming up for a new Brands Untapped space at Toy Fair New York 2022. The curated, experiential space will showcase collaborations between toymakers and licensing partners across multiple industries, including apparel, food and drink, hospitality, live events, video games, TV and film, and publishing.
Second bio!TOY Conference seeks to unite toymakers, bio-based materials suppliers. As the toy industry continues to move toward a sustainable future, bio-based materials are increasingly making their way into the product mix. The second bio!TOY Conference, taking place Sept. 7-8, 2021 in Nuremberg, Germany, seeks to bring together key players in the industry, including toymakers, manufacturers, suppliers of ...
Gen Con Trade Day plans announced. Gen Con has announced its plans for Gen Con Trade Day 2021, which will host its retailer programming in conjunction with Alliance Game Distributors’ Alliance Open House. Gen Con Trade Day will be held on two days this year, on Wednesday, September 15 for retailers, and on Saturday, September 18 for librarians and educators.
Here’s how E3’s all-virtual event will work this year. The world’s biggest gaming showcase, E3, is going all-virtual for the first time in its history, with organizers revealing today how they plan to keep enthusiasts interested without the sights and sounds of the show floor. The virtual E3 will run from June 12th to June 15th. The showcase will include an online portal with access to virtual exhibitor booths with video content and...
Dota 2’s The International returns in August with $40 million prize pool. One of the biggest esports tournaments in the world is coming back for 2021. Today, Valve announced that The International, the annual Dota 2 championship, will return after a one-year hiatus caused by the pandemic. This year’s iteration will take place in Stockholm, with the group stage starting on August 5th.
RIP - Rest in Play - Remembering Those that have Passed . . . If you know of a colleague's passing, please send us information so we may share with our colleagues. Archives can be found HERE.
Jon Seisa (from Jon's brother) It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our brother Jon Seisa of Long Beach, Calif. Jon passed away on April 16, 2021 at the age of 65. In early childhood you could see that Jon was no ordinary child. As kids we would set up the garage to look like a doctor’s office. We got bed sheets and draped them to cover dad’s work bench and walls. We would set up this hospital bed and put all kinds of strange things underneath the bed. Jon portrayed the “Mad Doctor”, while his brother, Rick, was the terrified patient. We’d invite the neighborhood kids to come watch the performance. It was hilarious and amusing to watch the neighborhood kids’ reactions, seeing Jon pulling out work tools, toys and all kinds of other different objects from his brother’s stomach. The neighborhood kids were scared, they thought it was REAL. What a BLAST it was! He was an animated character, hence his path was predestined. Jon was a gifted artist, illustrator and designer with a colorful and animated personality. In 1973 he attended Santa Ana College. While there he designed a large aquatic theme park, Magic Marina for an environmental design thesis. From 1976-1983 he was the Lead Art Director for Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, CA. While there, he worked with such renowned Disney artists and designers as Ward Kimball, Ken Anderson and Hollywood art director Harper Goff. In 1985 he took his many talents to Mattel, Inc. and helped create and launch some of their toy and doll product lines, including the Barbie Classique Collection. After seven years with Mattel, Inc., he then decided to venture out on his own as an independent Freelance Art Director. Jon is survived by his brother Rick and sister Debbie, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He will be deeply missed and will always live in our hearts. (Thank you Marcia Reece for letting us know.)
Richard Halliwell. Richard Halliwell, who co-created Warhammer Fantasy with Rick Priestley, Bryan Ansell, and Jervis Johnson for Games Workshop in its earliest days, has passed away, according to a Tweet by colleague Graeme Davis. In addition to co-creating the first edition of Warhammer Fantasy, Halliwell continued to develop the game in the 1980s, ultimately working on three editions. He also co-designed Dark Future, an apocalyptic car racing game in 1988, and designed two games based on 2000 AD comics: Rogue Trooper and Block Mania.
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Weekly Top Stories from Toy and Game Trade Magazines Worldwide . . .
Toy Trade Monthly Issues
The Spring/Summer issue of ToyNews
Adventure Media & Events (US)
aNb Media (US)
ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture's (US)
TOYS Magazine (Germany) - posted once a month
Nación Juguetes (Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Chile & Spain)
The Bugg Report (Australia)
News Flash: Greece Lightning Announced, New Edition of Galaxy Trucker
WizKids has announced a new racing game, Czech Games Edition will be releasing a new edition of Galaxy Trucker, and Lucky Duck Games is set to release Tranquility.
Video of the Week!
This week we are sharing the POP Week panel on The Importance of Films on the Toy Industry & Why Innovation Is So Important with moderator: Karri Bean (Senior Licensing Manager, Lego, Disney Consumer Products) with panelists:
Rob Johnson (Senior Category Manager - Toys NBCUniversal Media), Chelsea Condon (Brand Manager, US Marketing, LEGO Systems, Inc.), Wolf Steingraeber (Senior Licensing Manager LEGO and Video Games, Disney EMEA), Mason Fiske (Toy and Game Jedi Master, Lucasfilm).
Thank you for being a reader of the Bloom Report. — Mary and Graeme
Founding Editor and Publisher (1998-2020, Retired): Philip Bloom
We are honored to carry on Phil's 22 year legacy and continue the Bloom Report. Phil has been a mensch
and we've loved working with him. Here is a fun and interesting interview with Phil.
If you would like to reach Phil:
Publisher: Mary Couzin, Chicago Toy & Game Group, Inc.
Managing Editor: Graeme Thomson
Assistant Editor: Patrick Fisher